God Of Surprises

It is delightful that Fr Gerry Hughes - the Jesuit and author of such classics as 'God of Surprises' - is on Holy Island awhile. We had what I hope will be the first of many chats.

He told me that Ignatius Loyola's best friend thought that Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises should be made accessible to Jews and Pagans as well as to all Christians - in modern terms that means everyone. In his ministry Gerry has tried to get such spiritual treasures 'out of the church box' and into the lap of many. When he had a post at St. Beauno's Retreat Centre, they realised that they could fill it just with oft-visiting priests. So they introduced a points system. Poor people, lay people, unchurched people got plus points. A card-carrying communist got 8 plus points - as many as a bishop!

Gerry believes that ecumenism and world peace-making are closely linked. In the past, nations have tried to secure peace by eliminating the enemy. (Let's not go into how churches have dealt with their opponents). The ecumenical and peace-building way is to establish friendship, listen to the other, try and agree on a process for making decisions or agreeing to disagree without manipulation.

Let integrity rule. What say you?

Posted at 02:20am on 26th February 2010
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